Farmers use a wide range of equipment. Each machine must be carefully designed and built to perform a specific task. A seed drill, for instance, precisely sows seed in the soil at the proper depth and distance so it does not get eaten by birds.
Claydon Yield-o-Meter Ltd. is a British company that specializes in the manufacture of pneumatic seed drills, which make it significantly cheaper for farmers to establish crops on their fields. Founded in 1980 and headquartered in the English county of Suffolk, Claydon relies on modern engineering, progressive technology and cutting-edge machinery to build its state-of-the-art equipment.
“Once a prototype was made, it was modified to be a working machine for production. We then made a detailed 2D drawing of the machine on a software program so it could be manufactured.”
Several years ago, the company decided to invest in Dassault Systèmes’ SolidWorks CAD and CAE software to quicken equipment design and improve the assembly process. The software achieves this by creating detailed 360-degree 3D models of the company’s seed drills.
These models enable company engineers to load-test the machinery and simulate its breakpoints.
They also give workers use a visual view of the assembly structure so they can more easily and accurately produce the same kit and part numbers for Claydon’s enterprise resource planning system. This results in significantly lower production costs.
According to Claydon, the company always strives to produce the highest-quality-possible seed drills because it is never sure what the weather and soil condition will be when any machine is used. The equipment can withstand temperatures from 50 C to -20 C, while working in soil that may contain heavy clay, massive stones, thick topsoil or even very light sand.
“There are two features in SolidWorks that we primarily rely on,” notes Claydon. “The first is being able to export all of our CAD machine drawings into DXF (drawing exchange format) files overnight so we can begin production the next day. Also, we like to use the Treehouse editing tool when designing new models.”
With Treehouse, engineers can visualize the project structure of an assembly, as well as create a project hierarchy by mapping out and tracking its components and subassemblies. They can also make changes to file properties and configurations, and perform file suppression (removal from a contact database based upon undesirable criteria).
Claydon’s patented seed drill reduces the cost of establishing crops by about two-thirds, while improving sowing speed fivefold. The drill’s main feature is a dual-tine system. A digging tine cultivates the field, directly followed by a seeding tine that plants the seeds in the ideal environment for optimum growth.
For more information on CAD and CAE modeling software, call 800-693-9000 or visit www.solidworks.com.